Kerry Jameson's genuine ability to unsettle and unnerve in an age when so much art is sanitised or overly concerned with theory, is a scarce gift. Yet the work is also profoundly humane, or perhaps one could say, given much of her subject matter, profoundly animal. She really gets under the skin of her theme, going straight to the core, showing remarkable empathy for her characters, for the apparent stresses and crises some are undergoing, for their inherent idiosyncrasies and humour. This is a sculpture of vulnerability, well away from the polish and certainty of much figuration. It is rough and raw at the edges, indeed it is an art at the edge.
It would be difficult to think of clear antecedents. Outsider art, the raw expression of tribal figures, Dada? Nottingham salt glaze bears? Nothing quite covers it, such is her singular way of using clay and found materials to create this strange other-worldly cast of players. Their surfaces can appear as if they've been subjected to a process of attrition, an outward physical ordeal which is expressive of an inner one. She may have had a 'conventional' ceramics training, Central St Martins followed by the RCA, but this art goes beyond convention. Her imagination is powerful and untutored, her work deeply moving.